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The Chemical Context of Life

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1 The Chemical Context of Life
Chapter 2 The Chemical Context of Life

2 Overview: Chemical Foundations of Biology
Biology is a multidisciplinary science Living organisms are subject to basic laws of physics and chemistry One example is the bombardier beetle, which uses chemistry to defend itself


4 Concept 2.1: Matter consists of chemical elements in pure form and in combinations called compounds
Organisms are composed of matter Matter is anything that takes up space and has mass Matter is made up of elements

5 Elements and Compounds
An element is a substance that cannot be broken down to other substances by chemical reactions A compound is a substance consisting of two or more elements in a fixed ratio

6 Sodium Chlorine Sodium chloride
LE 2-2 Sodium Chlorine Sodium chloride

7 Essential Elements of Life
About 25 of the 92 elements are essential to life Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen make up 96% of living matter Most of the remaining 4% consists of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur Trace elements are those required by an organism in minute quantities


9 LE 2-3 Nitrogen deficiency Iodine deficiency

10 Concept 2.2: An element’s properties depend on the structure of its atoms
Each element consists of unique atoms An atom is the smallest unit of matter that still retains the properties of an element

11 Subatomic Particles Atoms are composed of subatomic particles
Relevant subatomic particles include: Neutrons (no electrical charge) Protons (positive charge) Electrons (negative charge) Neutrons and protons form the atomic nucleus Electrons form a cloud around the nucleus

12 LE 2-4 Cloud of negative charge (2 electrons) Electrons Nucleus

13 Atomic Number and Atomic Mass
Atoms of the various elements differ in number of subatomic particles An element’s atomic number is the number of protons An element’s mass number is the sum of protons plus neutrons in the nucleus Atomic mass, the atom’s total mass, can be approximated by the mass number

14 Isotopes Atoms of an element have the same number of protons but may differ in number of neutrons Isotopes are two atoms of an element that differ in number of neutrons Most isotopes are stable, but some are radioactive, giving off particles and energy

15 Some applications of radioactive isotopes in biological research:
Dating fossils Tracing atoms through metabolic processes Diagnosing medical disorders

16 TECHNIQUE Incubators Ingredients including radioactive tracer
LE 2-5a TECHNIQUE Incubators Ingredients including radioactive tracer (bright blue) 1 2 3 10°C 15°C 20°C Human cells 4 5 6 25°C 30°C 35°C 7 8 9 40°C 45°C 50°C DNA (old and new)

17 LE 2-5b

18 RESULTS Optimum temperature for DNA synthesis 30 Counts per minute
LE 2-5c RESULTS Optimum temperature for DNA synthesis 30 Counts per minute (x 1,000) 20 10 10 20 30 40 50 Temperature (°C)

19 LE 2-6 Cancerous throat tissue

20 The Energy Levels of Electrons
Energy is the capacity to cause change Potential energy is the energy that matter has because of its location or structure The electrons of an atom differ in their amounts of potential energy An electron’s state of potential energy is called its energy level, or electron shell

21 A ball bouncing down a flight of stairs provides an analogy for
LE 2-7a A ball bouncing down a flight of stairs provides an analogy for energy levels of electrons.

22 Third energy level (shell)
LE 2-7b Third energy level (shell) Energy absorbed Second energy level (shell) First energy level (shell) Energy lost Atomic nucleus

23 Electron Configuration and Chemical Properties
The chemical behavior of an atom is determined by the distribution of electrons in electron shells The periodic table of the elements shows the electron distribution for each element

24 LE 2-8 He Hydrogen 1H 2 4.00 Helium 2He First shell Lithium 3Li
Atomic number Helium 2He First shell Atomic mass Element symbol Electron-shell diagram Lithium 3Li Beryllium 4Be Boron 5B Carbon 6C Nitrogen 7N Oxygen 8O Fluorine 9F Neon 10Ne Second shell Sodium 11Na Magnesium 12Mg Aluminum 12Al Silicon 14Si Phosphorus 15P Sulfur 16S Chlorine 17Cl Argon 18Ar Third shell

25 Valence electrons are those in the outermost shell, or valence shell
The chemical behavior of an atom is mostly determined by the valence electrons

26 Electron Orbitals An orbital is the three-dimensional space where an electron is found 90% of the time Each electron shell consists of a specific number of orbitals

27 LE 2-9 Electron orbitals 1s orbital 2s orbital Three 2p orbitals
x y z 1s orbital 2s orbital Three 2p orbitals 1s, 2s, and 2p orbitals Electron-shell diagrams First shell (maximum 2 electrons) Second shell (maximum 8 electrons) Neon, with two filled shells (10 electrons)

28 Concept 2.3: The formation and function of molecules depend on chemical bonding between atoms
Atoms with incomplete valence shells can share or transfer valence electrons with certain other atoms These interactions usually result in atoms staying close together, held by attractions called chemical bonds

29 Covalent Bonds A covalent bond is the sharing of a pair of valence electrons by two atoms In a covalent bond, the shared electrons count as part of each atom’s valence shell

30 LE 2-10 Hydrogen atoms (2 H) Hydrogen molecule (H2)

31 Animation: Covalent Bonds
A molecule consists of two or more atoms held together by covalent bonds A single covalent bond, or single bond, is the sharing of one pair of valence electrons A double covalent bond, or double bond, is the sharing of two pairs of valence electrons Covalent bonds can form between atoms of the same element or atoms of different elements Animation: Covalent Bonds


33 Name (molecular formula) Electron- shell diagram Structural formula
LE 2-11b Name (molecular formula) Electron- shell diagram Structural formula Space- filling model Oxygen (O2)

34 Name (molecular formula) Electron- shell diagram Structural formula
Space- filling model Water (H2O)

35 Name (molecular formula) Electron- shell diagram Structural formula
LE 2-11d Name (molecular formula) Electron- shell diagram Structural formula Space- filling model Methane (CH4)

36 Electronegativity is an atom’s attraction for the electrons in a covalent bond
The more electronegative an atom, the more strongly it pulls shared electrons toward itself

37 In a nonpolar covalent bond, the atoms share the electron equally
In a polar covalent bond, one atom is more electronegative, and the atoms do not share the electron equally

38 LE 2-12 – O H H + + H2O

39 Ionic Bonds Atoms sometimes strip electrons from their bonding partners An example is the transfer of an electron from sodium to chlorine After the transfer of an electron, both atoms have charges A charged atom (or molecule) is called an ion

40 Animation: Ionic Bonds
An anion is a negatively charged ion A cation is a positively charged ion An ionic bond is an attraction between an anion and a cation Animation: Ionic Bonds

41 Sodium chloride (NaCl)
LE 2-13 Na Cl Na+ Cl– Sodium atom (an uncharged atom) Chlorine atom (an uncharged atom) Sodium ion (a cation) Chlorine ion (an anion) Sodium chloride (NaCl)

42 Compounds formed by ionic bonds are called ionic compounds, or salts
Salts, such as sodium chloride (table salt), are often found in nature as crystals

43 LE 2-14 Na+ Cl–

44 Weak Chemical Bonds Most of the strongest bonds in organisms are covalent bonds that form a cell’s molecules Weak chemical bonds, such as ionic bonds and hydrogen bonds, are also important Weak chemical bonds reinforce shapes of large molecules and help molecules adhere to each other

45 Hydrogen Bonds A hydrogen bond forms when a hydrogen atom covalently bonded to one electronegative atom is also attracted to another electronegative atom In living cells, the electronegative partners are usually oxygen or nitrogen atoms

46 LE 2-15 – + Water (H2O) + Hydrogen bond – Ammonia (NH3) + + +

47 Van der Waals Interactions
Molecules or atoms that are very close together can be attracted by fleeting charge differences These weak attractions are called van der Waals interactions Collectively, such interactions can be strong, as between molecules of a gecko’s toe hairs and a wall surface


49 Molecular Shape and Function
A molecule’s shape is usually very important to its function A molecule’s shape is determined by the positions of its atoms’ valence orbitals In a covalent bond, the s and p orbitals may hybridize, creating specific molecular shapes

50 Four hybrid orbitals z x y Tetrahedron
LE 2-16a Four hybrid orbitals z s orbital Three p orbitals x y Tetrahedron Hybridization of orbitals

51 Molecular shape models
LE 2-16b Space-filling model Ball-and-stick model Hybrid-orbital model (with ball-and-stick model superimposed) Unbonded electron pair 104.5° Water (H2O) Methane (CH4) Molecular shape models

52 Biological molecules recognize and interact with each other with a specificity based on molecular shape Molecules with similar shapes can have similar biological effects

53 Structures of endorphin and morphine
LE 2-17a Carbon Nitrogen Hydrogen Sulfur Natural endorphin Oxygen Morphine Structures of endorphin and morphine

54 Binding to endorphin receptors
LE 2-17b Natural endorphin Morphine Endorphin receptors Brain cell Binding to endorphin receptors

55 Concept 2.4: Chemical reactions make and break chemical bonds
Chemical reactions lead to new arrangements of atoms The starting molecules of a chemical reaction are called reactants The final molecules of a chemical reaction are called products

56 2 H2 O2 2 H2O Reactants Reaction Products
LE 2-UN44 2 H2 O2 2 H2O Reactants Reaction Products

57 Photosynthesis is an important chemical reaction
In photosynthesis, sunlight powers the conversion of CO2 and H20 to glucose (C6H12O6) and O2


59 Some chemical reactions go to completion: All reactants are converted to products
Most chemical reactions are reversible: Products of the forward reaction become reactants for the reverse reaction Chemical equilibrium is reached when the forward and reverse reaction rates are equal

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